Another Easter weekend ! Another long weekend !
In my 4.5 years in Sydney, all my travel adventures have been during Easter. Spent my 1st and 3rd Easter in Melbourne, my 2nd one at Gold Coast. My 4th one was surprisingly at Sydney and my 5th one at Bellingen and Dorrigo.
Why Bellingen ? I wanted to spend my Easter weekend with not many people around, less noise, more picturesque etc… and what better place than Bellingen.
My original destination was Dorrigo, but when I surfed for accommodation I found this cottage at Bellingen (in fact there are quite a lot of cottages in Bellingen) – AfterGlow cottages. I will come to the cottage later.
Bellingen is a picturesque town situated roughly halfway between Brisbane and Sydney. Running through the center of town is the Bellinger River and it promises a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Its a good 6 hour drive from Sydney, 30 mins from Coffs Harbour and 30 mins from Dorrigo. Its not just an old town, there are quite a few things to do in Bellingen.
They have some very good restaurents and cafes. They also have what is called as the ‘Old Butter Factory’
The first butter factory was opened in October 1906, and was built by well known local builder George Moore for the Upper Bellingen Co-operative Society Ltd. The site is currently home to a number of galleries, museums and cafes.
I stayed at ‘AfterGlow Cottages’ which is a 5 min drive from the main town. Its nestled among green hills and beautiful streams. They have a few diary cottages which boasts of an outdoor spa, fully equipped kitchen, double shower and a spa to name a few. I hardly saw anybody during my 2-night stay there. The only life visible was the early morning blue robins and kookaburras and a few kangaroos rummaging the bushes for food.
It was raining the entire Easter weekend but that did not dampen my spirits. I packed my camera, started towards Dorrigo on the Waterfall Way. Because of the rains, most of the waterfalls were overflowing and was a beautiful sight to watch.
The main attraction at Dorrigo was the Dorrigo Rainforest Center.
Due to the incessant rains, I was the first person to visit the Center at 9AM and the center itself was beautiful with its shops and cafes. They even had an information video on Dorrigo and the rain-forests. The main attractions at the Rainforest Center were the Skywalk and the numerous walks leading to gorgeous waterfalls.
Unfortunately, both were a bit of dampeners. First, the skywalk was covered with mist and the Dorrigo mountains were not visible ! Next, 1 km into the rainforest walk, I had half a dozen leeches on me (myself to be partly blamed as I was not properly clothed for the walk). Just managed to take a few pics.
As the rains were never going to stop, I decided to just visit the falls in the vicinity. The first one on the list ‘Dangar Falls’. Its situated on the Northern Tablelands with views to ‘Oxley Wild Rivers’
Its a 15 min walk from the car park, which was made even more difficult due to the rains. But once I reached the footsteps of the falls, I was wondering why I did not bring my poncho. I was completely drenched and so was my camera (lucky it survived !)
The next one on the list was the ‘Ebor Falls’, a slightly bigger one than Dangar. There are 3 lookout platforms for Ebor – upper falls, lower falls and valley view. A walking track links the upper and lower falls which is of Easy grade. Its basically the Guy Fawkes river meandering along the edges of the township of Ebor and dropping over Ebor Falls.
A few more on the ‘Waterfall Way’
I finally said goodbye to Bellingen. Since I was so close to Coffs Harbour I do not want to miss the ‘Big Banana’ which is the most photographed object in Australia and was modeled on a prize winning banana back in 1964. In my opinion its just another theme park with various attractions like an ice skating ring, candy-making kitchen, toboggan ride, mini golf, laser tag arena cafe, nursery, gift shop and a theater. But having said that, being in Australia I managed to visit the ‘Great Banana’ and that’s one item off the list !!
On the way back to Sydney, I took a small detour on one of the many tourist drives and we ended up at the ‘Smoky Cape’ lighthouse. is surrounded by the stunning coastal scenery of Hat Head National Park. Smoky Cape is a fantastic spot for whale watching, bird watching and picnicking.
Throughout the post, you see me mentioning rain at a number of places. This is not an area of complain or concern as I love travelling and visiting places when its raining. Its just for information purposes as most of my pictures will be covered in fog or smudged by rains and still managed to lend a frostiness to the images. Goodbye for now and see you later for my next trip !